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Me, Vivien Leigh and the Roller Rink

Lucy van Oldenbarneveld / Roller Queens Collective

Created & Performed by Lucy van Oldenbarneveld
Directed & Dramaturged by Kate Smith
Stage Managed by Lydia Talajic
Assistant Directed by Kel MacDonald

Lighting designed by Seth Gerry
Costumes designed by Vanessa Imeson
Sound designed by Lydia Talajic
Set designed by Sarah Waghorn

Ottawa / Hamilton, Ontario

75 – 80 minutes | G


To make steel, you start with iron ore, melt it down in a massive furnace, and then add some carbon. You can just leave it there, or choose to add other elements that will influence the nature of the steel. It then takes on those components and changes into something else, ultimately becoming stronger than the sum of its parts.

As a longtime broadcaster and journalist, Lucy van Oldenbarneveld told other people’s stories everyday. Me, Vivien Leigh and the Roller Rink is her story, and it takes place in her hometown of Hamilton, Ontario. It was 1981, the year of the largest strike in Stelco history with a recession hitting the steel industry. This unstable political climate would become the backdrop for her formative years. But everything changed the summer she landed a coveted job at the local roller rink. After reading Margaret Mitchell’s award-winning novel Gone With the Wind, 15-year old Lucy believed Scarlett O’Hara to be a storm of initiative and toughness. She was the role model she was looking for – or was she? Lucy’s humorous and poignant stories that will take audiences on her coming-of-age journey as she is forged in the fires of Steeltown. All while wearing roller skates.

Content Notes:

This show includes fighting, references to sexual content and discussions of sexual violence, suicide, mental health, residential school and psychiatric facilities. The character will eat onstage and there will be smells of food as well as simulated smoking. Sudden sounds, bright lights included a disco ball, projections, a smoke machine. 


Click below to purchase tickets:

*Friday, April 29 will be a reduced capacity performance.

Please note that proof of vaccination and masks will be required at all undercurrents shows.


Lucy van Oldenbarneveld (creator/performer)
Lucy van Oldenbarneveld is the former anchor of CBC News Ottawa at 6. Her work was recognized with a Canadian Screen Award win in 2020, a Gemini nomination and the Gold World Medal for Best Talk /Interview program at the New York festival. In 2012 she won the prestigious Founder’s Award at the Yorkton Film Festival for her work as director of the documentary North Boys. Lucy taught journalism in Rwanda, Nigeria, Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda. She has lead critical thinking workshops for young women in Lesotho. Lucy first joined CBC Ottawa in 2003, she worked as a field reporter and Friday host of the popular radio show Ottawa Morning. She’s also worked for Deutsche Welle world radio service in Cologne Germany as a reporter and host. Before that Lucy was the Host/Producer of the afternoon show in Whitehorse Yukon.

Kate Smith (director/dramaturg)
Kate Smith is the Artistic Director of Skeleton Key Theatre, an Ottawa-based company that creates immersive theatrical experiences. Smith originally trained as an actor and singer (Dalhousie University) and has performed on stages across the country for over 15 years. She is also an award-winning theatre creator, taking home multiple awards for Smith & Somers’ dark musical comedy HOOTENANNY!, which toured across Canada in 2017. Her work with Skeleton Key has been presented at the Shenkman Arts Centre, the Ottawa International Children’s Festival, the Magnetic North Theatre Festival, the In The Soil Festival, the undercurrents festival, the Fresh Meat Festival, and all iterations of site-specific theatrical event subDevision. In 2017, the company was awarded a New Chapter grant through the Canada Council for the Arts for its innovative outdoor multidisciplinary ambulatory piece Swan River, and the show was later nominated for a Prix Rideau Award for Best New Creation. Smith also serves as Artistic Manager of the Ottawa StoryTellers. She is a Member of the Playwrights Guild of Canada.

Lydia Talajic (stage manager/sound designer)
Lydia Talajic is a Franco-Ontarienne stage manager and arts administrator based in Ottawa. She holds a B.A. from the University of Ottawa in theatre with a profile in arts administration. As a stage manager, she has worked for companies such as Skeleton Key, Theatre Conspiracy, Théâtre la Vieille 17, Théâtre La Catapulte, the Fresh Meat Festival, and a Company of Fools. Her work has taken her all the way from Winnipeg to Quebec City. As an arts administrator, she has worked for the touring company Down the Well Productions as well as the Youth Infringement Festival. Her work focuses on providing young artists with a safe space to play, be vulnerable, and be heard.